Donald Trump Victory Leaves Obama Legacy Hanging in the Balance

The president-elect has promised to undo many of Obama's signature initiatives

ByABC News
November 10, 2016, 4:14 AM

— -- When President Obama and president-elect Donald Trump meet in the Oval Office today, the fate of the Obama legacy will loom large and questions about its resilience may hang in the balance.

Trump's victory appears to be a huge blow to the nation's first black president, who is among one of the most popular outgoing presidents in recent history. A recent Gallup tracking poll found President Obama enjoying a 56 percent approval rating.

With Trump in the White House and Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, many of the president's legislative accomplishments and executive actions could unravel. Here's a look at a few areas that Trump may try to chip away.


Throughout his campaign, Trump has vowed to work to repeal and replace the president's signature healthcare plan, saying it's an item he will tackle on "day one" in the White House. In the final week of the campaign, Trump suggested he could convene a special session of Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has been the target of Republican ire for the past six years.


Trump has pledged to undo the president's executive actions memorandums and executive orders. The president's immigration actions will likely be at the top of the last. The Republican wants to end programs like DACA, which has allowed for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to defer deportations and apply for work permits.

The president-elect has also promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and suspend immigration from countries with terrorism ties.


In recent months, President Obama ramped up his efforts to fight climate change, but Trump, who once suggested climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese, plans to take aim at many of the president's energy initiatives and regulations.

Trump says he would cancel the Paris Climate Agreement, which went into effect last week and aims to limit the rise of world temperatures to "well below" two degrees Celsius. He would also eliminate the Clean Power Plan, which aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.


Any chance to confirm Merrick Garland as a Supreme Court justice is thrown out the window. With a Republican coming to the White House, the Senate has further reason to pass on Garland and wait for Trump to name a nominee. The Trump camp has said he would swiftly name a conservative SCOTUS pick when he enters office.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is committed to having the Senate consider Trump's Supreme Court nominee, but any nominee would require 60 votes to be confirmed, meaning some Democrats would have to lend their support.